AS WE APPROACH ANOTHER PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION, we’re seeing a lot of Christians once again rallying around the Republicans.
Some are saying pretty nasty stuff about any so-called Christians who vote Democrat.
Sometimes it’s not that blatant.
A blog headline can read that Obama’s healthcare reform might put a Christian employer out of business. The tag line follows: go vote. Meaning, in context, go vote Republican.
No mention of the flip side of the healthcare issue: that the reform is going to give healthcare to a lot of people who couldn’t otherwise afford it.
Papa John’s CEO, John Schnatter—reportedly a generous supporter of his local church—told his shareholders in August that he’d have to raise the price of pizza 15-20 cents if the reform law is fully enacted. Last year, Forbes magazine ranked him number 17 on the list of wealthiest people under age 40. Net worth: $240 million.
Some might wonder why he doesn’t raise the pizza price now if that’s all it takes to provide the rest of his employees with healthcare coverage.
Wouldn’t that be a Christian thing to do? Some wonder.
Christianity’s Republican-leaning politics seem particularly odd in this election, some say, what with the Republican being a Mormon—identified in most Christian curriculum as a cult—and the Democrat being a Christian.
During a past election cycle, I led a Bible study session called “Christians in the Voting Booth.” I wanted the group to talk about how the Bible affects the way we vote.
We read some of the most basic teachings of Jesus, which involve loving your neighbor as yourself and helping the helpless.
Here was the surprise waiting for me:
Many Christians in the group didn’t warm up to political policies that seemed to target those kinds of concerns:
Instead, the discussion spun around a desire for smaller government, lower taxes, and a stronger military.
What’s Christian about that?
Some Christians seem genuinely eager for an answer.
I have no idea how Jesus would vote in this election. But I would expect that his explanation for the vote would line up with his teaching.
I believe there are good and godly reasons to vote for any of the major parties. But as Christians, I’m not sure we talk enough about what they are and how they track with our faith.
Any thoughts about why Christians you know vote the way they do, whether Democrat, Republican, or one of the other options?